Do I need Public Liability as a scaffolder?
Quite simply yes, Public Liability Insurance will protect your business against allegations of negligence against a third party such as a member of the public for any loss, damage, or injury that may be caused. It will provide legal defense costs and if you are found to have been negligent will pay financial compensation too.
That’s quite a wide statement but putting together scaffolding, of course, has its risks, just dropping a scaffold pole, the end of that Pudlock, or a Kickboard onto your customer’s nice tarmac driveway is likely to result in a potential claim, even worse causing injury to someone.
What does Public Liability insurance cover you for, and why should you have it?
As a scaffolder Public Liability insurance protects your business, it works just as it does for any other trade, whether in the construction sector.
For public liability to work or for the policy to respond, you have to have been negligent, your customer or employer must prove that it is you that was at fault, just because you were on site at the time doesn’t necessarily mean it was you that caused the damage or if there was an injury to someone, was it down to your negligence, there could be other factors involved?
This is where having public liability insurance in place is going to help you, you effectively get your legal experts to defend the claim on your behalf, and of course, the costs are being picked up by the insurer too.
Not having liability insurance coverage can prove very expensive just the legal costs alone can amount to many tens of thousands of pounds.
How much insurance cover do I need?
Insurance cover on any Liability Insurance Policy is called a Limit of Indemnity, in simple terms, this just means it is the maximum monetary amount an insurer will pay in the event of a claim on your policy.
How much coverage is needed can depend on many factors so the amount of coverage must be chosen correctly. This means that you need to understand your business, its exposures, the people you are doing work for, and any contracts that you might have in place.
Whether your business provides scaffolding services to small contractors, low-level traditional scaffold for instance, or someone that specialises in large scaffolding contracts providing structural support or shoring, bridge decking systems, or access scaffolding, your exposure to a liability claim could be no different. A baton or scaffold pole dropped accidentally whilst erecting the scaffold or perhaps unloading your vehicle creating hazards, the cost to the business could be no different.
Speak to us about your limit of indemnity, £2million, £5million, or £10million or above, we can discuss with you what’s the best limit for your business. Whilst a lower limit will provide comfort in some respects a higher limit should always be considered. In many cases, your employer may demand that you provide a higher amount of protection such as £10million or above.
Does Public Liability have an excess to pay in the event of a claim?
Usually yes, this is called a Third-Party Property Damage excess and is quite common. Some policies have a Third-Party Injury excess too. These can be quite high depending on your business type and sometimes your claims history.
Do I have to provide Public Liability for my employees?
Public Liability insurance will cover the actions of your employees whether they are direct employees or provide Labour Only. It’s the employer’s responsibility or obligation (but not a legal requirement) to have adequate public liability insurance in place.
You may have Bona-Fide Sub-Contractors; these are not employees, although they carry out work for you. They usually provide their own materials and are responsible for their own employees as well as Health & Safety and other requirements such as Risk Assessments and Method Statements whilst on site.
They should have their own insurance in force whilst working for you and you may find that your insurer insists that you periodically check that they have adequate insurance in force.
Whilst online quotes are great in some respect having the comfort to answer questions correctly isn’t always easy, speak to us now about what is the best policy for your business. Sometimes it’s not always easy to know what type of employee you have so Employer’s Liability insurance will be required.
Is it a legal requirement to have Public Liability Insurance?
It’s not a legal requirement to have Public Liability Insurance in place, however, the consequences of not having the cover could be financially crippling. Only Employers Liability is a legal requirement.
Employers Liability Insurance
As your business grows, you inevitably going to need people to help you with scaffold erection. As soon as you have employees, or people to help in your business then you must have Employers Liability Insurance. Employers’ Liability is a statutory requirement and cover must be in place that protects your employees.
When you employ people it’s not just direct employees such as where you might pay their tax and national insurance, an employee can be anyone that carries out work for you, even if they are voluntary. This can sometimes become quite complex as well as confusing so you should seek specialist advice and make sure you have your insurance correctly put together without the need for online quotes that you have to do yourself.
Employers’ Liability for a scaffolding business provides protection not only to the business should an employee become injured or suffer disease whilst working for you, but it also pays compensation that may become payable to the employee along with any legal costs that might be involved.
How much does scaffolders insurance cost?
By the very nature of scaffolding, you and your employees are working at height, this of course can potentially pose a higher risk, not only for employees with the increased risk of falls but also for public liability as items dropping from such heights can do considerable damage.
The cost of insurance can be based on what’s called a “Per Capita” basis which is generally for the smaller scaffolder or scaffolding business or a wages and turnover policy. A Wages and Turnover based policy work quite simply where you project your wages and your turnover for the coming year. This type of policy provides you flexibility and if your business does well you just pay an additional premium at your renewal based on the exposure your insurer has had.
The cost of scaffolders insurance varies hugely, from just a few hundred pounds to many thousands and it does depend on many factors, the number of employees you have, the wages paid as well as the turnover, if you have had claims then these will also affect the final premium.
What types of insurance do I need for a scaffolding business?
Moving your scaffold from one job to the next can require some large vehicles to carry the scaffold, fittings, batons, or planks as well as all your safety equipment.
Vehicle insurance is available, proving various covers, Third Party Only, which only covers the damage you do to someone else. Third-Party Fire and Theft is exactly as it states, besides covering damage to the third party, it also covers Fire or Theft of the vehicle.
For most businesses Comprehensive Motor Insurance is the way to go, it covers all of the above as well as any accidental damage or loss that might occur to the vehicle.
Whilst you may have multiple vehicles, sometimes it’s important to consider if it’s better to take out Fleet Insurance.
Sometimes multiple vehicles become difficult to deal with, different insurers, different renewal dates, all this means more and more admin work to manage the vehicles you have. Fleet insurance can start from just two or three vehicles, this will bring all of your vehicles together in one place with a single renewal date making it far easier to manage.
Speak to us about your commercial Vehicle insurance requirements, whether you operate just one vehicle, multiple, or a larger fleet.
Being a Scaffolding Contractor, you may need certain types of additional plants, some may be mechanical, from small electric winches to vehicle-mounted cranes, these need insurance whether you own them, or are hired in a plant.
Management Risks Insurance
Being a company director has many benefits, but it also comes with great risk, a limited liability company by its very name means its liabilities are limited, the liability of a director though is a little different, it’s unlimited which means that if you do something wrong it’s your assets that could be at risk, house, car, etc.
A management risks insurance policy, which includes Directors & Officers Liability will provide protection and defense should you commit a wrongful act, breach of duty, breach of UK or EU directives, harassment of various types, or just offend someone, the list is endless.
Accident & Health Insurance
As a scaffolder you could have exposure to a higher risk of accidents, if this happens an Accident Policy will provide an income whilst you recover.
You can also add in Private Medical Insurance, this ensures that you get medical attention quickly, getting you back on the mend and back to work as soon as possible.
Health Assessments for your employees also mean that you are an employer, valuing your employee’s health, in turn, this can reduce the potential time your employees are not working.
Health is essential, keep yourself and your employees in tip-top condition and if something does go wrong protection is in place to take care of the financial problems that could follow.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Have you thought about how much it’s likely to cost you if you have to defend a contract dispute or if you are taken to a tribunal by a disgruntled employee?
Having a Commercial Legal Expenses Policy will provide you with your own legal expert to guide you through legal disputes you may be faced with.
All legal expenses cover comes with a full set of documents for you to use, these are wide-ranging and cover a wide spectrum of legal issues.